HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A historic building contributing to music magic in downtown Huntsville was forced to close its doors due to the pandemic.
As of August 24, A.M. Booth’s Lumberyard closed it’s restaurant and bar to walk-in business.
On their website, it says:
Sorry if you didn’t hear the news, but after months of maintaining the highest standards for our community’s well-being to provide the safest multi-service venue available in a pandemic, we have decided to now concentrate on our core value – hosting events in “Downtown’s Backyard.”
Doug Smith, the owner and operator of Park Place Plaza, which houses the Lumberyard and Sound Cell Studios, says the pandemic has been the worst thing imaginable.
Smith’s love for music spills into everything he does.
“Plato was quoted as saying that music is a moral law,” said Smith. “It inspires, it contributes in so many ways. It was our first language.”
He said without live performances, it hurt the Lumberyard.
“We’re so musically-oriented that to not have live performances … we were not the restaurant where you went for the greatest hamburger in the world,” said Smith. “Our hamburgers were great, but it was the fact that you could have that with a great live entertainment show.”
Smith says they tried to-go orders, but it wasn’t the same.
“We could spend a lot of energy trying to stay open in this market and what we’re doing will not really contribute to that health of the city,” he said. “It’s really kind of pushing the envelope in our opinion so we decided to sort of withdraw from the market.”
Smith says they are still fulfilling contracts with large parties because people can remain safe in their large outdoor venue space.
Without many live music opportunities available, it contributes to the struggle of live performers.
Josh Allison says he’s never experienced anything like this in his years as a musician. Before the pandemic hit Alabama, he was performing six nights a week.
In March, he said he “got a call from probably 10 different venues that all said, we’re closing until further notice and we don’t know when that is.”
Allison said now, people want to see live performances again.
“They’re all having cabin fever and they want to get out,” he said. “They want to put on a mask. They don’t mind wearing a mask until they get to the table.”
With more people showing interest in supporting musicians, Allison said he sees a light at the end of the tunnel.
“Like all the people you see that come back to their houses after their blown away from a tornado that say we’re gone rebuild, that’s how we are,” said Smith. “We are always standing strong in this environment.”